No, there are not more people alive today than have ever died.

Today, 12th March 2008, there are approximately 6,793,052,354 people alive right now.

According to ‘How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth?’ by Carl Haub, in mid-2002, there were 6,215,000,000 people alive and the total number of people ever born was 106,456,367,669.

Assuming the total number of people alive doubles every 50 years, as Isaac Asimov supposed in 1991, then in 800 years time there will be as many people alive as there had ever existed up to mid-2002.

Which is to say, if the human population continues growing at the current rate, by the year 2800 there will be over 100 billion people alive.

I tried to work out the method to determine:

1 – How long it would be until the number of people living was exactly half that of those who had ever been born (which is to say, the same number as all those who had died up to that point).


2 – How long it would take for there to be more people alive than had ever lived.

But my brain does not know how, at least not right now.


I first read Asimov’s ‘The Power of Progression’ years ago, but it was Ellis’ musings and the bizzare “answers” to this question on Yahoo! that prompted me to write this.


The short answer; no, there are not more people alive today than have ever died. We make up about 5.8% of all those ever born.